Cyber security experts give tips on social media safety

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CARMEL, Ind. -- There's serious concerns for you and your children online after a man in Wisconsin allegedly found a Noblesville teen online and exploited her into sending him nude pictures.

Rook Security in Carmel has a team of experts that study and understand the dangers of the web. Forensic analyst, Daniel Ford said cases like this happening more frequently is not surprising.

"Anything that’s put onto a digital media can be discovered, whether you know it or not," Ford said.

He recommends creating your social media accounts with plenty of privacy settings. That includes making sure your "public-facing" profile is generic and secure. For example; don’t include where you live or go to school on a page that’s available to anyone who searches your name. You can also use a setting that ensures only friends can message you or friend-request you. Ford also recommends selecting a setting that prevents your profile from being “searchable” on Google.

“You absolutely can change your identity and hide your identity even from the FBI because of things like TOR and making yourself invisible to determine where you are actually located.”

Ford also says to remember that once something is on the internet, it's likely on there forever.

"Once you put a picture out on the internet, it gets saved into multiple different locations. There’s even a website that basically takes copies of other websites, it’s the way-back machine. It allows you to browse a website that was in existence maybe 10 years ago," he said.

There’s a few apps parents can use to monitor their kids social media activities. Ford said the best protection is having a conversation ahead of time about safety.

“You have different ways of getting in touch with people that you normally wouldn't have that ability to. Just like stranger danger when it comes to someone pulling up in a van, it’s the same thing, different vehicle," he said.

The Indiana Youth Institute is hosting a series of social media forums for parents and children. For more, click here.

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